The ocean breeze wafted the familiar scents of salt and tropical flowers as our family scaled the jagged reef surrounding the secluded Hawaiian beach. Stopping only for the occasional wave that splattered and sprayed against the rocks, we continued to our destination, a small cove. Carved by the elements of nature, it afforded us a safe perch above the pounding waves. My sister handed me a bag and I stared at the powdery grey contents. After saying a brief prayer, I turned to my sister and asked her if she was ready. She nodded and she added her hands onto the bag.
“We love you Dad! Now you can always be with Luvy.”
Together, my sister and I gingerly grasped the bag containing the ashes of our father and tossed it into the ocean. Per his will, we also mixed the ashes of his beloved dog, Luvy, with his. He requested that half of these ashes be spread over his mother’s grave and the rest be scattered into the ocean. The waves slowly enveloped the bag, dragging it into its blue-green resting place. Tears came to my eyes as I realized that it had been over ten years since my father had been with his dog.
When I was growing up, my father often spoke wistfully of the dog he had when he was a child. No more dogs, he once told me. He was so heartbroken over the passing of his first dog that he did not want to risk a similar painful episode. Yet, when Luvy entered his life, her endearing nature and lively spirit won over his heart. Once again, he was the same little boy, indulging his furry companion with an affection that I only rarely received as his own child.
God cares for us and He knows that the love that we have for our pets is as deep as any human relationship. As a dear friend once confided in me, they provide unconditional love and accept you for all your flaws, more than what some humans are capable of doing. Isn’t this the same message that God gives to us?
For the LORD God is a sun and shield; the LORD bestows favor and honor. No good thing does he withhold from those who walk uprightly.
Psalms 84:11 (ESV)
God unconditionally loves and accepts us when we confess and repent of our sins and accept Jesus Christ as our Lord and Savior. Our relationships in this world are a shadow of the complete and uninhibited love we will have in Heaven. The Bible is clear that animals will be in Heaven because God’s love and mercy extend to His entire Creation. Our relationships with our pets are a beautiful example of how God loves us and in Heaven, this relationship will be even more glorious than we can ever imagine when we receive God’s complete favor and honor.
Love and trust the Lord; seek His will in your life.